There are many misconceptions about Jewish tradition.
And there’s one that seems very widespread.
… “Do not make any tattoo marks on your skin. I am G-d.” (Leviticus, 19:26)
It’s very clear. The Torah doesn’t allow tattoos.
“Rabbi, is it true that a person who has a tattoo can’t have a Jewish burial”?
I hear it very often. And have no idea where the idea came from.
It’s absolutely not true.
Take Lashon Harah. Gossip. It’s a very big sin.
But it doesn’t prevent someone from having a Jewish burial!
… Sometimes I wish people were as concerned about Jewish living as about Jewish burial!
The law against tattoos is a message about the Jewish perspective on life.
Why can’t I make a tattoo on my body?
For the same reason I can’t make one on someone else’s body.
It’s not mine!
My body is a precious gift on loan from G-d.
I can’t do whatever I want to it. And I can’t do whatever I want with it.
… And there’s a deeper message.
We’re all created in the Image of G-d.
G-d gave us a soul. A Neshama.
And He gave us a body as a home for our soul.
In Jewish tradition, just like our soul is holy?
Our body is also holy.
And just like you can’t write on a Torah scroll? Or a Mezuzah?
We can’t write on our bodies!
… Since it’s Olympics time?
Here’s something that sums up the Jewish perspective.
“The ancient Greeks saw holiness in beauty.
The Jews see beauty in holiness!”
All the best,